Emerald Coast Growers, one of the industry’s largest suppliers of ornamental grass liners to North American growers and retailers, recently added a seed house to increase production efficiency at its Florida operations.
“The new facility gives us the efficiency of having everything together,” says Josiah Raymer, General Manager. “This increases our control over inventory, sowing rates, germination percentages, and our growing conditions.”
In the new seed house, the flat filler, Blackmore seed machine, LED germination racks, stratification cooler, and temperature-controlled germination room are all under one roof. Seed needs a temperature-controlled germination room to allow for some species to be germinated in a controlled climate when it would otherwise be too hot in the greenhouses. The new facility provides this as well as a cooler for stratification of seed trays for hard-to-germinate seeds, day-length control, and an in-house seed-tray filler that allows for varying media mixes for specific seeds, even for small batches.
In addition, the company has installed a monorail through the seed building that connects all areas to the connected seed greenhouse, where seed trays are finished off before being sent out to ranges to be dibbled into trays. This allows the majority of the work to be carried out by a single grower.
With the change, all seeding for Florida locations is done in one facility, giving the company more control over greenhouse variables including lighting, watering needs, fertilizing, cut backs, scouting for pests, and disease management.
Flow is from one end of the seeding building, out into the greenhouse, and out the other end of the greenhouse when trays are pulled for production.